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Demolishig an upright piano

  1. Jan 15, 2012 #1

    wolram

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    Would it be best to unscrew everything first or just smash it to pieces?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2012 #2

    Moonbear

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    :surprised: Is it completely beyond repair? Seems a shame to destroy a piano if it's repairable. Someone might appreciate it for a child starting piano lessons if they can get repairs done cheaper than buying a working one.

    If it is damaged beyond repair and you just need to break it own to haul away, remember the strings inside are all under tension, so just smashing might have some undesirable results of parts attached to strings snapping at you. You also might have some salvageable parts someone could use to repair another piano if it's not all smashed up.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2012 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJgt-HO0_kY
     
  5. Jan 15, 2012 #4
    Wear eye protection if you smash it. The tension in the wires is high enough to take out an eye.
     
  6. Jan 15, 2012 #5

    wolram

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    Fantastic Ivan i watched that twice, it is a shame this piano has terminal wood worm.
     
  7. Jan 15, 2012 #6

    turbo

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    Those strings are under a lot of tension. And yes, they can put the hurt on you if they break.
     
  8. Jan 15, 2012 #7
    Donate it someone will probably be willing to come and pick it up even. It doesn't need to be in great shape either lots of places will take just about any piano you can toss at them as they will either use the parts to repair others or find it a home with people who would never be able to even afford a used one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2012
  9. Jan 15, 2012 #8

    AlephZero

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    The bottom line is that there probably isn't anything worth salvagiing. Unlike violins, pianos don't naturally have a long life. Instruments like rehearsal pianos that get played hard for 8 or 10 hours a day are scrap after a couple of years. Obviously a $250,000 Steinway is going to last longer than that, but I guess that's not what we are talking about here!

    Unless it's got some value as antique furniture or some real historical interest as an instrument (e.g. it's more than say 150 years old) it would be cheaper to buy a factory built modern piano than pay to have it hand-restored.

    Giving it to a kid to learn on isn't really a good idea either. If the kid has any interest or talent, they deserve something that will reward their efforts, not something where they will be fighting its defects rather than learning to play properly. Most musical instrument shops in the UK run schemes where you can rent an instrument for a year or two and then either buy at a discounted price or return it if the kid isn't interested or doesn't have any aptitude.

    The safe way to demolish it is first take the tension off the strings. You should be able to find a socket spanner that will fit the tuning pegs. To avoid cracking the cast iron frame, start by lowering the pitch of ALL the strings by two or three notes. That will mean quite a small amount of turning the pins - check by playing a note and detuning it. Then repeat for ALL the notes, then you can wind off the tension completely.

    Beware of breaking piano wires. The broken ends can do a lot of damage if they whiplash you. The safest way is not to take anything apart, except the minimum required to get at the tuining pins, before you take the tension off the strings. Then the rest of the piano will protect you if anything does break.
     
  10. Jan 15, 2012 #9
    Here's how to demolish a grand piano. Watch and learn.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoTyDD0C93U
     
  11. Jan 15, 2012 #10

    atyy

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    Performance of a piece of music by Annea Lockwood
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXcpSUsGldg
     
  12. Jan 15, 2012 #11
    Remove the action and strings and use it for storage. I once saw an old upright piano turned into a bar.
     
  13. Jan 15, 2012 #12

    OmCheeto

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    Flames? Destruction!?

    Please don't get me started....

    It's a new year!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cQ-yGCyjyM

    I was only 7....

    What did I know?

    Woolie. Give it up. There may be someone who could turn such an instrument into a thing of beauty. Put it at the end of the driveway, with a sign marked; "Free".

    I'm sure some old sod will snatch it up.

    Just don't destroy it. :cry:
     
  14. Jan 15, 2012 #13

    Moonbear

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    Ah, too bad. Even in the clip, you'll see the piano used was already gutted of the wires.
     
  15. Jan 15, 2012 #14

    AlephZero

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    Don't try moving it anywhere on your own. You need 3 people who know what they are doing, plus one of these: http://www.alanstuart.co.uk/removal/piano-truck.html [Broken]

    You can't use more than about 3 people, because there isn't enough piano for them all to get hold of when going through doorways etc. You need to plan ahead if there are narrow corridors etc, so people don't get "trapped" on the wrong side of the piano where they can't do anything useful.

    Upright pianos are deceptively unstable - they are unexpectedly easily tip on their backs. That's not good news if some body parts end up underneath.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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